Feminism is a radical movement to liberate women globally of all races, genders, sexualities, classes and abilities.
This usually happens to me. After maintaining this blog diligently for months at a time, I inevitably slack off and forget to post on here. I’ve been working hard at my small business recently and I’ve also started a YouTube channel and picked up photography as a hobby. This keeps me busy. All. The. Time. In between juggling all of that, I somehow manage to maintain a near spotless house and spend tons of time reading or perusing home design on Pinterest.
In reading a book on home design, I came across tips for maintaining a blog that of course led me to think about my poor neglected blog over here. I’ve come to the conclusion that I may have limited my scope too much here and that it’s time for me to expand what subjects I write about. As with everything, consistency over time is of critical importance. But consistency on this blog isn’t all that’s important to me.
High anxiety is one of my biggest individual struggles as an entrepreneur and a writer. I can explain most of these feelings away and remind myself that anxiety is something created from my own mind. I remind myself that what I’m creating is worthwhile. I remind myself of the hard work that I’ve put into my business as a 22-year-old self-sufficient entrepreneur. But no matter how much I remind myself of what I know to be true, anxiety can still creep in. It’s the fear that you’ll never be “successful”. It’s the fear that you’ll never be “recognized”. It’s the fear that whatever you’re building will crumble to the ground if you look away even for a moment. Anxiety is a common motif amongst young black creatives — especially young black women. I see brilliant women every day questioning their worth constantly.
Anxiety is a common motif amongst young black creatives — especially young black women. I see brilliant women every day questioning their worth constantly. I’m not immune to this. This week, I wanted to write about reassurance and how to remind yourself that you don’t need the world to validate you, especially when it’s slated to invalidate you at every turn and diminish your accomplishments.
Happy New Year dear readers! It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. I was on vacation for a part of the past month or so, and then I spent a lot of time re-assessing my business (not my blog, but my primary source of income). As such, I neglected this blog, despite my desire to maintain a consistent posting schedule.
I’m considering alternating posts between social analysis and “lifestyle” posts about what it’s been like living as a young self-employed person in the Caribbean. Both subjects are interesting to me, and I want to expand a bit of this blog’s “brand” too.
As I enter the second half of my last semester at Middlebury College, I’ve started to reflect on my life in the United States, and how quickly it’s coming to an end. I wish I could say that I was sad, or had any sense of nostalgia about my undergraduate experiences. I already experienced my saddest graduation goodbye when I graduated from Groton, my high school alma mater. I feel nothing but absolute bliss when I think about a life after Middlebury. Of course, I have personal reasons for this but what else is at play here? Why do some people relish the idea of never returning to the Caribbean, and why are some unable to truly imagine a life outside here?
I’ll go into my personal reasons first in an attempt to give you a little more insight into the woman behind the words.
- I love warm weather. This is a more shallow reason but I’ve spent ~ 9 years in New England and I’m absolutely sick of the annual influenza guarantee and having to go out in layers and layers of clothing.
- I find it easier to mind my health (exercise and eating) when I’m in a place with little access to processed food and junk food. Also, it’s much easier to exercise when it’s 80 degrees out compared to when it’s below 0.
- Being black is much easier here. Although my body is marked for being a woman, I find it a lot safer to navigate spaces here as a black woman. Yes, despite the catcalls, leers and manner of other experiences I have.
- I just love being around Saint Lucians, despite some of the more ‘ignorant’ behaviors. I love the humor, the food, the culture and the generosity of people down here.
These are just a few of the reasons that I feel more excited about moving down here than I’ve felt about anything in a while. It’s worth examining why I feel this way. This involves deconstructing the notion of “privilege”. Here are some of the privileges that permit me to feel a greater degree of comfort in Saint Lucia.
- Racial privilege for being a light skinned biracial (black/white) woman.
- Gender privilege for being a gender conforming cisgender woman.
- Class privilege for having the ability to afford returning home and having the ability to use my skills to live a comfortable life.
- Heterosexual privilege. While it is still a risk to be a heterosexual woman in Saint Lucia, it is far more dangerous to exist outside of the spectrum of heterosexuality.
- Privilege because of my physical and mental ability. My physical and mental health permit me to feel mobile, comfortable and sane in Saint Lucia. This aspect of privilege often goes unexamined but can be very important.
Society here affords me the safety to exist as I want to, mostly without fear. Structurally, a part of this is because of the dominant positions that I occupy that place me out of harm’s way. It’s important to examine what it means to occupy a position insulated from oppression. Do we feel safe here because we have created an unwelcome environment for non-conformers?
This problem of exclusion is not unique to the Caribbean, but it’s one that we can find the capacity to solve. Some of these solutions may need to occur on the structural level, such as elimination of anti-buggery laws. Yet some changes can be made on an individual level; a series of individual changes must occur for us to see structural change.
The majority of the people in this region practice Christianity, a major tenet of which is “Love thy neighbor, as thyselves”. Perhaps we find this so difficult to practice because of the ways we don’t love ourselves. Whatever the reason, I would compel everyone to work individually towards making home safe for everyone and consider the ways in which we contribute to a society that endangers those who don’t fit in. What kind of changes can you make?